Dutch Speakers Losing Language War in Brussels

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According to the 2008 census data analysed by the Brusssls-based ADRASS institute 67% of the city’s 1 million inhabitants are French speakers, while the Dutch-speaking Flemish accounted for only 5%.

Expats mostly French, Moroccan, Italian and Spanish nationals made up the other 28%.

The study’s heads Andre Lambert and Louis Lohle-Tart, formerly with Université Libre Belgique, predicted that by 2020, the Flemish influence would be reduced even further to just over 3% of the total population.

The trend was linked to the continuing influx of foreigners with 143,000 more expected to come to Brussels in the next 10 years. They will contribute to a predicted 23% increase in the population.

The study The French-speaking community is predicted to rise, as most children are registered as Francophones Lambert and Lohle-Tart. The findings come at a politically sensitive time, as the status of Brussels within the geographic region of Flanders is a major political issue.

The issue is one of the biggest blocks to the formation of a new government,  as Flemish nationalists are angered by what they see as Francophone entrenchment, as more French speakers moving from Brussels into neighbouring parts of Flanders especially Halle and Vilvoorde.